WAYS TO WELL-BEING ...A WELL-BEING COURSE FOR STUDENTS
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TABLE OF CONTENTS Overview FOREWORD
MODULES GLOSSARY OF TERMS
SHORT FILM RESOURCES
1 Relationship with life
KNOWING ME, KNOWING YOU
THE TREE OF GREATNESS
INTRODUCING THE CONCEPT OF STRESS
AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE: COUNTING OUR BLESSINGS
FINDING THE HAPPINESS (H) FACTOR
LIVING LIFE WITH A PURPOSE
WHAT I VALUE THE MOST
2 Relationship with emotions
IT IS OKAY NOT TO FEEL OKAY
EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE (EQ)
UNDERSTANDING AND CHANGING LIMITING BELIEFS
3 Relationship with mindset, meaning and purpose LESSON 18
REACTION TO EVENTS: INTRODUCING MINDSET
GROWTH VERSUS FIXED MINDSET
THE SUBCONSCIOUS MIND
A LIFE OF MEANING AND PURPOSE
4 Relationship with the past, present and future
THE CONCEPT OF FLOW
BACK TO THE FUTURE
YOUR BUCKET LIST
THE GOLDEN TICKET: TIME
BARRIERS TO RELATIONSHIPS
LEARNING FROM THE SUCCESSFUL LIVES OF OTHERS
5 Relationship with personality, talent and performance
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
RELATIONSHIP TO PERFORMANCE UNDER PRESSURE AND GOAL SETTING
PRESSURE SOLUTION STRATEGIES
BENEFITS OF FAILURE
RELATIONSHIP TO SLEEP, DIET AND EXERCISE
THE POWER OF LISTENING
YOUR MISSION STATEMENT
WAYS OF RESOLVING CONFLICT
For if dreams die Life is a broken â&#x20AC;&#x201C; winged bird That cannot fly. Hold fast to dreams For when dreams go Life is a barren field Frozen with snow. Langston Hughes, 1902 - 1967
Hold fast to dreams
by Brian Flannery
hat ’s your philosophy of teaching? What are the assumptions you work with and the aims that you consciously (and perhaps unconsciously) try to achieve in your teaching? One eloquent and pithy response to this question that has stayed with me is as follows: ‘What’s my philosophy? That’s easy – Kids before content. In my classroom, I don't teach English. I teach students.’
This attitude to teaching underpins all good modern educational theory and practice. Although it is now almost commonplace as an insight it warrants repeating: education is not simply about imparting knowledge but about developing the whole person. As teachers we are dealing with young people and our responsibility is to help them be the best young people they can be – in mind, body and spirit. In an essay that has become a modern educational classic, The Heart of a Teacher, Parker J Palmer speaks about the interplay between the subject we teach, the students in front of us and who we are in ourselves as people. These are the three vertices of the complex and exhilarating triangle that is education. I want to use Parker Palmer’s image by way of introducing this important teaching resource. The students we teach are always ‘larger than life’ and coming as they do from a myriad set of circumstances and with unique needs they challenge us professionally, emotionally and humanly.
This is what keeps us on our toes and what makes the job so interesting. However, there is a new and disturbing reality for students that society has become more conscious of and we as educators have to take account of in our teaching. The pressures of modern living are taking their toll on our youth. It is a regular occurrence, for example, to hear reports about mental health problems in young people, the increased tendency towards depression and self-harm, the rising rate of suicide. Indeed, the psychological well-being of people – both young and old – has become a talking point in recent years. We now speak of ‘wellness’ as something that needs to be carefully nurtured and not to be presumed upon. Emotional well-being is a fragile and even an elusive state in a stress-filled age. ‘The best days of our lives’ are for many fraught with tensions and uncertainties – far from the facile images of charmed and carefree living. This being said, we should not see adolescence as a pathological state or youth as a perilous stage of life; rather it is a period during which the young person needs wise and sensitive support. The health of our students can be greatly supported by how we – as the significant adults in their school lives – understand the breadth and depth of what we are about; by seeing that our responsibility as teachers is not only for the academic development of the students but also for their personal and emotional wellbeing. It is often commented that one of the single greatest causes of adolescent depression is the fear of not belonging or feeling different. When adults can acknowledge the fragile reality of being human and speak about the internal strife that we all endure then these threatening and ‘disturbing’ feelings can
be dealt with and understood. The cloud is lifted and the sun can break through. In fact this turmoil is often the catalyst for personal growth and in developing that essential quality that enables us to relate properly with one another – i.e. empathy – that capacity to connect with somebody else in their difficulties and to help them cope with what they are going through. The mental health of our young people will also depend on how well we equip them with an understanding of their own make-up and provide them with strategies to manage their emotions, relationships and attitudes to life. What this resource does is to invite students to recognise their own internal capacities and draw on the inner strength that we are all endowed with to meet the challenges of life. The approach adopted by the author is to say that the most intelligent thing we can do – the most rational – is to realise that our makeup is deeply emotional and needs the attention, care and management that a discerning mind can bring to it. This is an excellent resource. The 43 lessons are a combination of theory clearly and engagingly explained, wonderful anecdotes and quotations that illustrate the concepts presented
Mr Brian Flannery Former Principal Teacher, Dublin, Ireland.
and practical exercises for students to reflect on and discuss in class. The author also gives a wealth of techniques that can be worked on. The theory and reflection is complemented by the step by step ‘how-to’. Nothing works better than actually doing it. The author involves the students in a process of continuous reflection on his or her learning – inviting them to consider ‘What have I learned here’, ‘What can I use to help me manage better?’ The approach is always positive, enabling the student to be mindful of what is already working in their favour. In fact, one of the central themes running through the text is that an attitude of gratitude is not only the most appropriate response to our human condition and lives but actually it is also the sanest and the one most likely to make us happy. What the author has done is to bring the wisdom of psychology, the natural sciences, literature and spirituality to the area of well-being and to do so in a way that is fresh, relevant and accessible. The material and the issues covered in this resource should be regarded as relevant for all teachers charged with the important responsibility of educating the young.
by Jolanta Burke
appiness, otherwise known as well-being, has become the most invaluable commodity in the western world. Our children have food on their plates, access to education and doctors, a roof over their heads, a lot of comfort they enjoy, various types of entertainment at their disposal as well as exposure to after-school activities enriching their lives furthermore. Yet, despite all these life quality improvements, our society is flooded with depression and anxiety amongst ever younger people. If you were to ask any parent what they want for their child, they might mention some of the life necessities, such as a good job, or life comforts, such as a beautiful home, but ultimately, parents say that what they want for their children is to be happy. Happiness is undoubtedly the most sought after commodity, which is why many schools around the world have now begun teaching it. Positive education programmes have flourished in numerous countries around the world, such as Australia, the US and the UK. Educators are taught wellbeing, which they in turn introduce to students. In some instances, a wholeschool approach is applied, whereby all teachers are taught well-being and begin to incorporate it in their classes as part of the curriculum. In addition, parents learn what they can do to feel happier and help their offspring practise their new skill. Some programmes are based on a common-sense approach, others are evidence based or evidence informed, whereby the most up-to-date science of positive psychology applied in education is the foundation of the programme. Positive psychology is a field of psychology that scientifically examines
the good life. Researchers draw their knowledge from students who are happier than average. Based on these observations, they design activities and introduce them to other students to see if their well-being changes as a result of completing them. When an activity does, indeed, boost students' well-being, and shows similar results when it is retested with other groups of students, it is deemed validated. Positive psychology offers a choice of validated and evidenceinformed activities that are introduced to students in the form of a body-builder model. A body builder becomes fit by building each of their muscle groups individually. Similarly, a body-builder model of wellbeing assumes that if we keep building all aspects of the good life known to science, we will become ultimately happier. Those aspects include effective balancing of positive and negative emotions, enhancing student engagement, helping young people build relationships and identify their life purpose. It also includes such aspects as learning optimism, and perseverance to achieve what we hope in our lives. To date, the body-builder model is the most effective model applied in positive education. This model is also the basis of which this programme was created. It includes all that is necessary to help students live a good life. It delves into evidence-based approaches to enhance positive emotions, such as gratitude and acts of kindness. It also teaches young people about the growth mindset, which can protect them from mental illness, but most importantly allows them to develop more effectively and become more successful in life. The programme also assists students to identify and use their strengths, which are the basis for their well-being and self-esteem enhancement.
It introduces students to the concept of resilience and evidence-based ways to help young people feel mentally stronger in the face of adversity, not feel defeatist when in adverse situations, and bounce back after life challenges. Apart from being evidence based, what makes this programme particularly unique is that it is Irish. This is the first comprehensive positive
education programme embedded in the Irish culture. Young people are given examples of well-known Irish personalities, and situations from everyday life in Ireland to draw from. The programme is engaging and entertaining. But most importantly, it is based on solid science, teaching children skills as well as habits of cultivating life-long well-being. Let the well-being revolution in Irish education begin.
Jolanta Burke, Dublin PhD Researcher, Trinity College. Jolanta is a psychologist specialising in positive psychology. She is a global representative of the International Network for Positive Education and has been recently acknowledged in the Irish Times as one of 30 people who make Ireland happier. For further information, go to www.jolantaburke.com
I wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t a talented player but Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m a
talented human being. 10
â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Louis van Gaal
Teaching is a very noble profession that shapes the character, calibre, and future of an individual. If the people remember me as a good teacher, that will be the biggest honour for me. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
Context for delivering a well-being programme The emotional well-being of our students should be every bit as important to us as their physical well-being. A student who is supported emotionally is far more likely to learn more effectively, and develop the social/emotional ‘soft’ skills necessary to become a fully rounded, flourishing human being. The future is not what it was. The world is changing. Are we preparing our young people for a world that no longer exists? Are we preparing students for tests or for life? Our students will mostly forget what we made them think – they will never forget how we made them feel. I have been teaching 21 years and no student ever stopped me in the street and said, ‘Hey, Sir, that worksheet changed my life!’ and I spent ages on those worksheets! Over and above educational attainment parents' number one priority is for their children to be happy. Happiness, it would seem, is the ultimate currency. This course has been designed to invite teachers and students, in a spirit of partnership, to reflect upon the core ingredients of well-being and a life lived to the flourishing full. It is hoped to present tools and techniques to put those ingredients to work in their day-to-day lives. If education is a conversation between one generation and another about what
is important, promoting the resilience and well-being of our young people must take centre stage. Self-efficacy has a clear and unambiguous claim for its introduction as a vital area of study in any contemporary curriculum. Unfortunately, such skills frequently get pushed aside by the relentless pursuit of curriculum content and happen by accident in schools, rather than by deliberate design. They are a random byproduct, not strategically planned for. If we don’t inculcate the ‘soft skills’ and create a literacy around emotional intelligence, a term brought into common parlance by Dr. Daniel Goleman, we may end up with a generation in a fast-changing world that is unemployed, underemployed, or unemployable. The stakes are high. Indeed, they have never been higher. And yet, if we get education right, nothing has more power to redress inequality and illuminate the road to a successful, flourishing future. If students learn appropriate coping skills, and learn to live well, they will successfully avoid some of the growing plethora of health problems blighting the western world: depression, heart disease, obesity, addiction and cancer, to name but a few. It is hoped this programme will empower and enable a student to take charge of his/ her life and learning instead of following the script of someone else and being led in a direction they would otherwise rather avoid.
Most conversations are simply monologues conducted in front of witnesses! – M. Miller
Focus of the Ways to Well-Being Programme The central focus of the programme is to enable the student to get to know better the most important person in their lives – themselves. Their likes and dislikes, beliefs and values, who they are, and their hopes and dreams for a flourishing future. In conjunction with this, finding out how they can further develop themselves, safeguarding and protecting their wellbeing – and the well-being of others. At its core, happiness is about fulfilling potential and flourishing, not dying with the music still left inside us. Indeed the ‘science’ of happiness, of which more is added to the canon each year, would indicate that unhelpful patterns of thinking can not only be addressed, but reversed and replaced with more positive and productive patterns. To facilitate this, we can positively learn from the successful experience of others to help light the way and inspire our own futures. The predominant theme of the work is the fundamental relationship with life itself. In order to be successful, we must engage with its component parts, which we have broken down into five areas of focus. The hope would be that a good relationship with these areas will promote positive self-regard and consequent well-being. These five core areas of relationships for young people are: 1
Mindset, meaning and purpose
Past, present and future
Personality, talent and performance. 5
These areas of focus are based on the growing body of scientific and psychological research into happiness and well-being that has seen a huge
expansion and proliferation in recent years. It draws heavily on the positive psychology movement and the work of its founder Dr. Martin Seligman, and the growing number of universities actively looking at the science of well-being such as Harvard. The main academic foundation to the course is Authentic Happiness by Dr. Martin Seligman. One of the central tenets of this programme is that wellbeing is a skill, and can be, at least in part, discerned and successfully distilled from the successful lives of others. It is hoped that the references and case studies from a cross-section of people, both known and less familiar, will highlight four key pathways: 1 Aligning with good people to help mentor us on our journey 2 Identifying our strengths and finding as many opportunities to use them as possible 3
Caring for spirit, mind and body
4 Finding an appropriate equilibrium between comfort and challenge zones, between stretch and balance.
The predominant theme of the work is the relationship with life itself.
The lesson plans, stories, and accompanying notes are in no way designed to be prescriptive. Rather it is hoped that they will be seen organically, ready to be changed and moulded to take advantage of the creativity of both teacher and student. A lesson plan rarely survives contact with students – and nor should it perhaps. It will take root and shape in ways not intended, throwing up
opportunities for discourse, and avenues for reflection and personal growth. It is said by the ancient Chinese that the quality of a culture can be judged by its willingness to plant trees under whose shade they will never sit. It is hoped that some of the lessons you teach will plant trees that in years hence will flourish and be at the service of a grateful student who will have due cause to raise a glass to you and utter two of the most powerful and underused words in the English language – ‘Thank You’.
Resources Accompanying this teacher resource pack is a student workbook. The workbook has been designed in such a way that a teacher may decide to follow it through or else dip in and out of and even build upon its contents. There are over 100 hours of teaching materials contained within the workbook.
of a diversity of segments from film and television. Please see appendix for list of possible films and music that may be used from a selection that I have tried and tested myself to positive reaction from students over the years. The stimulus it provides can often make a profound point in a powerful way.
The workbook is intended to be a document that charts the students' personal thoughts, opinions and beliefs at an important juncture in their lives. The students use these to reflect on and count their blessings, to record ideas from the reflective written tasks and hopefully motivate them to keep hold of the workbook when the course has ended. It is important to stress that not every exercise the student does will resonate and declare its relevance immediately. It is important that they have the capacity to return to these ideas at a later stage. As Steve Jobs said, we cannot join the dots going forward. It is only through looking back oftentimes that sense can be made, and indeed dots start to join. It will form a useful record of their development at a crucial stage on their lives' journey. Mark Twain could not get over how stupid his parents were when he was 14, and how much they had learned and how much wiser they had become when he had reached the age of 21!
The material is designed to be engaging, interactive, experiential and uses examples from within the students' framework of reference. Quite often, the students themselves will suggest equally pertinent examples, which fosters a spirit of collaboration and engagement. Indeed within my own practice, it became a challenge to show a relevant clip that was new to the students .Often this would facilitate a productive and useful discourse between teacher and student. It would be good practice to ‘screen test’ any recommendations from students in private, to ensure suitability, relevance and appropriate content.
In delivering the course, I make much use
Format of lessons
Methodology Well-being is ultimately subjective and the activities that we choose to engage in to promote our own happiness have to have subjective value based on individual reasoning. The more prescriptive and dictatorial we become about well-being the more we undermine the validity of what we are doing. The programme puts the student in the driving seat of their own learning and lives. The lesson typically will follow this structure:
a reflection, observation, opening remarks by the teacher to lead into the exercise, setting the frame and context.
asking the student to direct their attention and notice something about themselves or others.
acts or actions to be carried out, pre, post or during the exercise.
what can be taken away from the experience, what can be learned from the lesson? A typical well-being lesson begins with an observation-raising moment â&#x20AC;&#x201C; something to bring the lesson topic to life for the students. This could be anything from a short video clip to a picture or even just a question, something to engage or piquĂŠ the interest and attention of the students in a way that will provoke discussion and the sharing of ideas and the asking of questions. A nice lead-in is to use the Native American tradition of a talking piece. The concept being that the person holding the talking piece has the right to speak and be listened to without interruption. When finished he passes it on to the next student. Another idea is a student could be asked to rate his or her amount of energy on a scale of one to ten, followed by a simple question such as:
If you could go anywhere in the world for a month all expenses paid where would you go? What was the best piece of advice you were ever given? If you could have a superpower what would you choose and why? If a theme tune or song had to play every time you entered a room what would you choose? If you could go on a night out with a celebrity you think has a successful life who would you choose? It has been said that the typical class consists of twenty-five students turning up to watch a teacher working! This exercise communicates that the teacher is firmly in the role of guide on the side rather than sage on the stage, if comfortable doing so. The exercise can typically be started by the teacher themselves. I have used these questions with both young and mature students. It can be a useful lead-in for a number of reasons:
X It promotes the democratic
contribution of all students and encourages their active participation.
X It can raise a chuckle or two, and
promote a positive atmosphere to set the tone for the class.
X It also indicates that these are
very different lessons that require their active, rather than passive, participation, that everyone has a voice, and that every voice counts. Asking where they sit in terms of energy can prompt understanding that energy throughout the course of the day can fluctuate and is susceptible to variation, that it can be topped up by proper attention to nutrition, water intake and appropriate sleep.
Interspersed throughout the workbook are items I call ‘ Things to make you go mmmm? ’Questions to make students think. Research indicates that very little time is spent by students talking in class – and much of that can fall into the ‘Can I go to the toilet? ’ variety. Wait time between question and answer can be as little as 0.8 of a second. "What is the capital of France?" "Paris, Sir!" Half of the class are thinking to themselves, "What’s France?" It is good practice during the lessons to leave the students stuck, to encourage thinking time before soliciting an answer from the class. Once the students are on board with the topic, the awareness and sense of collegiality continues by enhancing their understanding of a particular aspect of being human. This may involve looking at our experiences (or perhaps looking at somebody else’s experiences and comparing them with our own). The lesson commences with an evaluation element, a reflection on some area of well-being, promoting a spitfire of critical inquiry, where students' attention is brought deliberately to some aspect of their lives or the world around them. This is followed by an awareness phase, being more aware of the present moment is a skill that takes time and patience in a frenetic and busy world. Constantly bombarded by extraneous ‘noise’ we jump from one thing to the next, noticing little along the way.
It is said that the All Blacks rugby team are taught in moments of high pressure to wiggle their toes. This simple act is designed to get them out of their heads and into the present moment at a crucial time. I have heard it said that there are three types of people in life: those that make things happen, those who watch things happen – and those that wake up and say, "What happened?" We then move into the ‘intervention’ part of the lesson, where the students learn a specific skill that might help them to maximise their well-being; for example, in the lessons on relationship with physical health, students learn techniques to help them sleep, advice on how to maximise learning or ways of managing stress. It is important that students have the opportunity to try the interventions out together and learn through experience. It is all too easy to just tell students 'If you want to achieve X, then do Y” but unless students have an opportunity to try these ideas out with guidance when needed, the interventions simply won't get used by them. The final section of the lesson, ‘Reflection’, is where we encourage the students to evaluate and reflect upon the intervention they have just learned, and they do this in between the lessons. All students are encouraged to complete short written exercises where they reflect upon the impact of having tried the intervention taught in the lesson. Students are encouraged to give status to their workbook and the thoughts contained, as it documents their learning journey. Feedback may be given by the teacher, but the work is not ‘marked’ per se. This element of the methodology is crucial, because it offers the students the opportunity to provide reasons why they accept or reject what they have learned.
Time allowing, a nice way to end the session is to again check and connect with the energy level of each student and ask for one ‘takeaway’ from the lesson, something that made them think or reflect or motivated them to make further inquiry.
Encouraging the students' awareness of the present moment in a spirit of gratitude, acceptance and appreciation is an important element of the programme. This creates an awareness of just how much of our time is taken up with a focus on the past or the future, to the detriment of the present moment – the only thing we have full control of.
Mindfulness Meditation Mindfulness is an ancient practice which simply requires one to attend nonjudgementally to the present moment, rather than allowing one's mind to flit between past, present and future. There are many things that can be used as a focus for mindfulness, from the breath to walking, from sounds in the world around us to sensations in our body. Recently there has been a significant amount of scientific interest in mindfulness. It is perhaps best known for the link between the practice of mindfulness and stress reduction (MBSR) or treating depression (MBCT), for which it has been shown to be particularly effective. Research over the last few years has also made a strong connection between mindfulness and happiness. Evidence would suggest that those who meditate regularly exhibit higher levels of activity in the left pre-frontal cortex of the brain, which is associated with positive emotion. There is also a proposed connection between mindfulness and creativity. Tal ben Shahar suggests that just three deep, well-taken breaths can start off a virtuous cycle of calm and begin to undo feelings of anxiety. It would be the view of this programme that incorporating mindfulness into the daily lives of our students, and indeed staff, would have beneficial consequences for learning outcomes, reduced stress and anxiety levels and overall well-being. Simple, short meditations form part of the well-being lessons. Operating from the maxim that the best time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining, mindfulness can be a very useful tool in preserving and protecting mental and physical health. Promoting relaxation with a purpose is a central tenet of the course, this can be
done at the start of the lesson through a scripted exercise. Examples can be read below. Alternatively the teacher may have their own versions. I have used two apps available on tablets and smartphones, together with either a cheap Bluetooth speaker or overhead projector. The app I use most frequently is called Headspace and a quick search in the iTunes or android app store should locate it. An alternative is an app called Smiling Mind, which I also find very effective. Other apps and tools are available, they are all free and feedback from students and teachers is very positive. On planes we're frequently reminded during the safety message to put the oxygen mask on ourselves before anyone else – counterintuitive, or at least not our first instinct for many of us reaching out to protect our loved ones. The stress and seemingly relentless pressures that teaching can produce might make it useful to check and connect with our own well-being and stress levels. It can be powerful in helping gauge how a student might respond if it has been tried by yourself first. Suggested Reading
X The Chimp Paradox Dr. Steve Peteres
X Search Inside Yourself Chang Meng Tan
X Coming to our Senses Jon Kabat-Zinn
X Breathe through this – Mindfulness for Parents of Teenagers Eline Snel
X The Mindful Way Through Depression Mark Williams et al
Life is a journey, but don’t worry, you will find a parking spot at the end. Issac Asminov
Mental Rehearsal The skills of imagination and relaxation with a purpose can be combined to great effect to imaginatively practise any activity to dramatically improve real-time performance. This can be on the sports field, in the classroom, the stage or the debating hall, it can even be that job interview or difficult conversation. Both techniques are well known and used in the world of sports psychology, but they have much wider application. Recent advances in FMRI brain imaging indicate that the same circuitry in the brain fires whether the activity is done for real or imagined. The famous golfer Jack Nicklaus has said that he never took a shot before picturing it clearly in his mind's eye first. To practise this important technique, spend five minutes in each class mentally rehearsing some skill or activity that you desire improvement in. It might be apparent to you how often you could use this well-proven technique in your own life. To fully harness the enormous benefits of relaxation with a purpose, we must address the triumvirate of breath, body and visualisation. This is a vital life skill that with practise can be very beneficial in all aspects of a student's well-being.
X Step one:
relaxed and slow breathing
Gently inhaling through the nose, preferably with mouth closed, so the brain doesn't think we are preparing for an intake of food or gasping for air. Then we exhale even more slowly through the mouth, perhaps taking twice as long. This proportion of slower out sends a calming signal throughout our nervous system and brain.
X Step two:
progressive muscle relaxation
Next we take each group of body muscles in sequence and let them go as limp and
relaxed as possible. Invite the student to sit comfortably on their chair with both feet placed on the ground and their hands resting where comfortable. Everything should feel loose and easy. That includes shoulders, stomach, jaw, tongue and face. If the student finds the mind wandering that is perfectly normal, just invite them to come back to their breath, the cold air through their nostrils, and the warmer air expelled from the mouth. Now let our imagination transport us away to a favourite destination, perhaps in nature, a place of comfort and security.
X Step three:
visualising things going well
In this relaxed state, we are presented with an ideal opportunity for skills practice and mental rehearsal. Encourage the student to view and feel the event or performance from within their own body rather than as a detached bystander. Engage all the senses to maximum effect (taste, touch, smell, sight, sound), all the time feeling relaxed, at ease and at peace. Encourage the student not to rush, rather to feel and see each step of the process thoroughly. We could also take the opportunity to revisit past success, and any feelings we associated with it. If during the imaginative practice events don't go as we would wish, we can simply rewind in our mind's eye and start again. This is one of the great advantages to rehearsing something in your imagination. Guided Visualisation Find a comfortable position in your chair and bring your attention to the present moment and your breath. You might want to close your eyes or cast them downwards. Listen carefully to the following guided imagery exercise. It requires you taking a familiar journey through your home. Empty your mind of all distractions. Take three deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth. Breathe regularly and slowly.
Focus on seeing in your mind's eye your home from the outside. Standing in the driveway on a sunny day, look and try to count the number of windows that are visible. Is there a reflection from the sun on the glass? Can you feel the warmth of the sun on your face? Is there a slight breeze that you can feel blowing? Now point to each window you can see and count them silently to yourself. Walk slowly towards the front door. What can you see on the left and the right of your path? Try to hear the sound of your feet as you walk up to your front door. Take a moment, if you will, to look at the door – its colour and texture. Now take out your front door key from your pocket. Feel the weight and coolness of the key in your hands. Notice how easily it slides into the lock. Turn the key slowly and feel the door opening. Step into the hallway of your home. Now make sure the door is closed behind you. Now take off your coat, if you happen to be wearing one, and hang or set it where you normally would. Walk slowly into your kitchen. Walk over to the cupboard and take down an empty glass. Notice how clean the glass is, its shape and feel in your hand. Close your hand gently around the glass. Then slowly walk over to the water tap. Turn it on, and fill the glass with cool water. Watch the water as it comes out of the tap, and splashes into the bottom of the glass. Now turn off the tap, sit down and drink the cool, refreshing glass of water, savouring every drop. Notice how cool and refreshing it tastes. Now, stand up and walk over to the sink, rinsing the glass and leaving it aside. Then walk slowly out of the kitchen and into your living room. Look around the living room at each and every wall. Visualise pieces of furniture, curtains and ornaments. There is nobody else in the room, except you. Sit down on your favourite chair or sofa, and feel yourself relax completely. You are happy to be home. Now use your imagination in the same way, try to visualise something coming up. A meeting, a test, study, a sporting event or a conversation.
Allow your mind to see, hear and feel all the actions you want to perform in this situation. Try to experience the sights and sounds and sensations associated with the actions. See yourself performing smoothly and confidently in your chosen setting. You get the result that you want. When you are done, get up from the sofa slowly and make your way from the living room back to the kitchen. You are fully aware that you are relaxed and energised. A simple relaxation Close your eyes and begin to breathe in a regular and slow manner. As I mention different parts of the body, concentrate on each one and focus your thinking on producing relaxation. Concentrate on your scalp. Repeat mentally after me: I feel my scalp, I am aware of my scalp. My scalp is relaxing… I feel my scalp relaxed … my scalp is very relaxed. My forehead is relaxing … I feel my forehead relax … my forehead is very relaxed … Now, my eyelids begin to relax … I can feel them become limp, almost heavy … my eyelids are relaxed… relaxation is now beginning to spread around my eyes and is starting to relax the muscles in my face … I feel my face relax … my mouth is relaxed… I feel my mouth relax … my tongue… and now my throat begins to relax … I feel my throat relax … my head is completely relaxed … and my neck now feels the pleasant sensation of relaxation flow slowly down to my shoulders… My shoulders are becoming very relaxed … The deep relaxation is now flowing into my arms … my arms are becoming relaxed as the muscles in my arms become limp and relaxed down to my fingertips. My chest and upper back are now relaxing … a warm glow of deep relaxation completely relaxes my chest…
The relaxation flows into my thighs … the powerful muscles of my thighs are now completely relaxed … so relaxed, just like my upper body … the feeling flows further into my knees … my knees are now very relaxed … and now to my feet … my toes … the soles of my feet and heels … completely, totally relaxed … I enjoy the wonderful benefits of complete relaxation now… When you are ready I am going to count from 1–7 to gradually readjust and come out of this healthy state of deep relaxation … 1 … 2 … 3 … 4 … now beyond the midpoint, when I open my eyes I will be wide awake and re-energised, both physically and mentally… 5 … so I begin to adjust my body … 6 … I prepare to open my eyes … 7 … I open my eyes and am wide awake now, both physically and mentally alert. Using the concept of Mental Rehearsal in everyday life For maximum utility, we should attempt at least a dozen replays of the activity/ task we're trying to improve upon. Whilst recognising that nothing beats the coalface of experience, the virtual training environment that imaginative practice can afford is a safe place to practise key skills. It may prove helpful in safeguarding against stress, combating fears of public speaking and permanent anxiety and developing our reservoir. Our optimism, our imagination can be a refuge and used as an experimental laboratory in times where reality is unavailable or impractical.
ask the kit man what colour we will be wearing. Then I lie in the bed the night before the game and visualise myself scoring goals or doing well. You’re trying to put yourself in that moment and trying to prepare yourself, to have a good memory before the game. I don’t know if you’d call it visualising or dreaming but I've always done it, my whole life.”
The building blocks of self-esteem: When we witness ourselves succeed it can create its own momentum. It most reliably derives from incremental growth, setting simple tasks that we can achieve and that act as stepping stones for more. This taste of success ensures our self-confidence takes a turn for the better, gradually increasing our ability to handle even greater goals. When Muhammad Ali was asked how long he had been calling himself “The Greatest” he replied, as long as it took to believe it. The former South African president Nelson Mandela would spend many evenings in his formative years at a boxing club. He remarked, “We each took turns leading the training sessions in order to develop leadership, initiative and self-confidence.” This step-by-step approach may not seem a grand revelation, but consider what we often do instead: taking on too much, biting off more than we can chew, and often times giving up in frustration, confirming the negative scripts in our heads. Adapting the Homer Simpson approach to failure: “If at first you don't succeed, cover up all traces that you attempted in the first place!” This denies us the satisfaction
Indeed most world-class performers spend nearly as much time mentally rehearsing their routines as actually doing them for real. Manchester United and England footballer Wayne Rooney tells of his own use of imaginative practice: “Part of my preparation is I go and
my chest is very, very relaxed … this healthy, energising glow continues to flow down into my abdomen and lower back … the muscles of my stomach are very relaxed … very, very relaxed…
and self-confidence that comes from the successful completion of tasks and testing ourselves to follow through and get things done. We can stack the odds in our favour by setting specific measurable goals that have a tangible focus and a short-term scope, rather than broad, intangible and distant alternatives. Committing to a brisk ten-minute walk three times a week is preferable to the lofty ambition of getting fit by Christmas. It is important also that we seek feedback along the way to track our progress as measuring improvement is highly motivating and provides a useful diagnostic as to what works best. Pose, pause, pounce, bounce A useful strategy to employ to engage students is called POSE, PAUSE, POUNCE, BOUNCE.
Here’s how it’s done: Insist on all hands down before the question is delivered. Provide a question or a series of questions, ensuring that thinking time is given and students are encouraged to remain reflective. In this instance, the question might be to consider what they think are the top three causes of stress for a teenager. A
POSE the question to the class, not an individual.
F BOUNCE – Ask Student B their opinion of Student A’s answer immediately after the POUNCE response. This can be developed by asking Student B and C their opinions. G A further strategy is to BOUNCE the question to Group A and onto Group B. H This ensures a significant number of students are being engaged with the question at hand. It also ensures that the entire class can be called upon at any given time by returning to POSE or BOUNCE. I Resist the temptation to take the answer from the enthusiastic student who shouts out or fills the silence. J Testing and teasing out students' thinking, perceptions and understanding is far more important an objective than moving on to the next stage of the lesson. K This strategy can be added to your toolkit and used when and where needed. To help you I have provided below a handy Question Matrix for posing questions. Have students become skilled at asking great questions!
Then PAUSE … You could set a timer on your phone – 1 Mississippi is roughly one second – count up to 20 if you can. This is the difficult part. Ask the students to hold that thought … keep the reflection going as long as possible before you… C
POUNCE – Select a Student A to answer the question (you may already have one in mind) as quickly and as directly as possible. Wait for an answer, stay with the student — leave them stuck if needs be and let the silence do the heavy lifting. Wait for an answer, if none forthcoming instigate various strategies to enlist peer support … Can anyone help Student A out? D
E If Student A does manage an answer the fun begins.
HAS? DID? WAS?
them to rate their ability on the following scale:
To help make the most of the grid and to encourage students to generate questions for a particular focus the following guidelines might be useful:
2 = Clear image
X Let students know that you will be
giving them a particular focus for asking questions. Before doing that, there are some rules to follow and discuss.
X Do not stop to answer, discuss or otherwise judge the questions.
X Write down every question precisely as stated.
X Change any statement into a question.
X Once students have been given a
moment to digest and discuss these rules they could be divided up into small groups of 3–5.
X Each group identifies a note taker. X They produce as many questions as
they can in a specific time allocated.
X Number the questions. X The students can now choose three questions that interest them and/ or the three questions that they consider most important.
X Ask students to explain their
rationale – why did they choose those three as most important?
X Students now share aloud their
three priority questions and their reasons for choosing them with the rest of the class.
These questions could now provide the learning frame for the topic and help scaffold their learning. What follows is an exercise to help integrate your senses into your imagery. As the student creates each of the following images in their mind's eye, ask
0 = No image 1 = Some image
X The classroom you are in X The clothes you will change into this X Tasting a lemon in your mouth X The anticipation of an examination about to begin
X The feeling at the end of a good session of study
X Jumping into a cold shower Alternatively insist that the students do not picture a pink elephant on top of a fridge! We think in pictures. This will help unpack concepts later on such as WPE. Words create pictures, which attach to emotions. We are also helping students understand and accept the multiplicity of thoughts going on in our heads all the time, to adopt a position of non judgemental awareness and acceptance that thoughts, like clouds, both come and go. We are trying to move our students from being their own inner critic to their inner coach. I sometimes tell my students if someone else said the things we say to ourselves they would be cautioned for bullying at least and possible defamation of character! Strike a Pose There can be other methods to gain feedback from learners aside from the conventional question and answer format. This is a fun and kinaesthetic way to get immediate feedback about the students’ understanding of the material. Ask learners to stand up and, working in small groups or pairs, to compose a still image to represent the knowledge that they have gleaned from their reading or listening. This can be effectively set up by use of a pertinent
The general level of difficulty of question increases. A “What is?” question is normally easier to create and answer than a “How might?” question.
Introduction Lesson XX
question such as: How might the good qualities of a friend be represented? What was the main takeaway of the story? When students use the ‘strike a pose’ technique to create an image, their peers can be encouraged to interpret the image, or ask questions that the posers may answer. Learners consolidate their understanding by choosing a way to physically represent a key idea they have discovered. A discussion can then ensue as the pose is interpreted by the class.
answers with another student, receive an answer from them which they did not have themselves and then move on to another student. They give, they get and they go on! The object is to try and get as many answers as possible. The teacher then asks students to return to their seats and then goes around the room asking each student to share one answer on their sheet. See if you can fill the board with your answers or go completely around the room without the same answer coming up!!
Carousel Rounders This strategy can inject some goodspirited competition. Divide the class into groups of 4/5 or pairs. Give each student a sheet. Teams must race to add as much information to the sheet as they can about the topic they have been learning about, questioning and musing upon their ideas as they go. If you want to see who is contributing you could get students to use differentcoloured pens/markers. In addition to this, you could have a second round where on your signal, students must leave their sheet and go in a clockwise direction to the next sheet, which the other students worked on. Once they have read what the other group have writ ten, they can now add, amend, respond or otherwise improve upon what they have seen. Eventually they will arrive back at their own sheet and be able to review the additions. All the while you can be circling around. This will provide you with vital feedback about what the learners do and do not know yet. Give, Get, Go This is a good activity to get students to share their responses with other students, along with learning from each other. There are activities in the student workbook based on this approach. Following an introductory question, students are initially asked to write down their own answers. The teacher then invites the students to move around the classroom, where they share one of their
The golfer Jack Nicklaus has said that he never took a shot before picturing it clearly in his mind’s eye first.
Some cause happiness wherever they go, others whenever they go. Oscar Wilde
OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH LIFE
Our Relationship with Life
LKNOWING E S S OME, N KNOWING 1 YOU
LTHEE TREE S S OOFNGREATNESS 2
LINTRODUCING E S S O N THE3 CONCEPT OF STRESS
LMINDFULNESS ESSON 4
LANEATTITUDE S S O NOF 5GRATITUDE: COUNTING
LFINDING ESSO N 6 THE HAPPINESS (H) FACTOR
LLIVING E S SLIFE O WITH N 7A PURPOSE
LWHAT E S ISVALUE O N THE8 MOST
Our Relationship with Life
INTRODUCTION TO MODULE
Rather self-confidence in its most sustainable form is a gradual build. Pulling at the grass does not make it grow faster.
With that in mind, module one embarks on a journey of awareness and poses a challenge. We are wired to go beyond what we believe is natural to achieve. To go further than we thought possible. To run faster than we hoped, and to reach higher than we dreamed. Without those dreams that are explored in the Tree of Greatness exercise, there is no plan. Without a plan, there is no accomplishment. Without accomplishment no rewards or self-confidence, and without self-belief, less fulfilment. If we do not believe in ourselves we cannot believe in our future – and it is that very hope in the future that gives power to the present.
You cannot control your circumstances or life’s events, but you can control how you respond to them. Experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want. Brick walls are there to show you how much you want it, there to stop those who don’t want it enough. Randy Pausch
hese opening lessons are intended to develop an understanding of who we are, and what we are about. So it is important that we start with a number of exercises that enable students to explore and reflect on certain aspects of their lives and aspects of themselves. Helping to build the self-confidence and self-esteem muscle takes time. We need to prime the pump of positivity, for as Jesse Jackson says, you can't plant the seed and pick the fruit the next morning.
Our Relationship with Life
1 Lesson 1
KNOWING ME, KNOWING YOU The first few lessons of the course should be dedicated to the student unpacking their own story, their likes and dislikes. This self-knowledge can be built upon by the following exercise. This exercise will also flag for some the invisible power of limiting beliefs. If you ask a group of six year olds how many can draw, you will find a class full of eager hands reaching skywards automatically. Big, bold, colourful pictures will be the order of the day.
a young student, normally a bundle of nervous energy, quietly concentrating on a drawing, at the back of a class.
Conversely, if you ask a group of eleven year olds who can draw, out of thirty, you will get scarcely ten hands. If you ask fourteen year olds you might not get any. Ken Robinson tells the story of
“But nobody knows what God looks like!” the teacher gently admonished the child.
“What are you drawing, Lisa?” enquired the teacher, curious as to the reason for such prolonged silence. Without looking up and breaking her concentration, the student replied, “I am drawing God,” in a tone of voice that was definitive and matter of fact.
“They will in a minute!” replied the student.
Learning Outcome: Students will understand the importance of self-reflection. To help the student notice that they can change behaviour in the light of their growing awareness of how self-image can affect everyday choices.
Evaluation The exercises allow students to reflect upon aspects of their lives. The course depends on the student developing a sense of who they are.
Awareness The student is invited to notice three things that they are grateful for.
Intervention X Allow students some time to fill in each box. X On completion they can be invited to share some of their answers with the person beside them.
X Alternatively, each student can be allowed to share one thing they wrote for each question.
X The teacher may allow a student to pass on an answer.
Reflection X Invite students to write down three things that they will take from the exercise. X Did anything surprise them? X Did they find any particular question difficult to answer? X What was the easiest question to answer?
Ancillary activities in Workbook
X Lifelines â&#x20AC;&#x201C; activity for students to chart highs and lows of their lives to date X Who packed your parachute â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a story with accompanying activity where students explore who helped and supported them at various stages throughout their lives. Reference can also be made to the fact that support can come in different forms. It can include emotional, physical, mental and spiritual supports.
X Invite students to reference as many of these supports as they can think of in the spaces provided on page 11 of the workbook.
Encourage the student not to rush, rather to feel and see each step of the process thoroughly.
Our Relationship with Life
2 Lesson 2
THE TREE OF GREATNESS In the exercise on page 14, the students are asked to draw a tree in the blank space provided in the workbook. The only caveat is that it must have the following components: Roots — What nourishes and sustains them? What gives them energy and firm foundations? Trunk — The student can be asked on a scale of 1-10 how solid they feel. This speaks to resilience, to the fact that from time to time they will all be buffeted by the winds of challenges that life will throw at them. The trunks of trees come in all shapes and sizes. Branches — Who do they hang out with and hang on to, in good times and in bad? The students are invited to write these names on the tree. Leaves — What makes them who they are? Every person is a oneoff, unique, never to be repeated event. To use the business term, what is their Unique Selling Point (USP)? If competing in the television show 'The Dragons Den' and they were standing
in front of the dragons looking for investment in their business – i.e. themselves – what would make them stand out from the crowd? This speaks to talents and gifts that sometimes students don’t see as such, or that they don't even know they have. Some students reveal their skills at deconstructing bicycles or computers or a myriad of hidden talents. Flowers — This speaks to accomplishments, moments that the student is proud of. Buds — This details hopes, dreams and ambitions for the future. Some takeaways to encourage from the lesson debrief:
X We must feed the roots of the tree, Miracle Grow won't work.
X We control our behaviours with our thoughts.
X To perform well we must feel good. X One's attitude to life is very important.
Learning Outcome: Students will develop an appreciation of the power of being positive and an understanding of the importance of supporting and sustaining our hopes and dreams from ‘the root to the fruit’ in order to achieve them.
Evaluation The students are first asked to consider whether there is such a thing as a ‘self-made’ successful person. We all need support systems and can call upon strengths and gifts that sometimes are hidden below the surface.
Awareness Students are asked to bring their awareness now to their own lives and notice all the people who help them in whatever way, big or small. Leaves
represent the talents and gifts of the individual - the things that make you stand out from the crowd.
Branches Who we hang out with and hang on to.
represent hopes, dreams and ambitions for the future.
represent our accomplishments and moments we are proud of.
represents our strength in times of challenge. How strong is yours on a scale of 1-10?
though not visible represent the sources of our strength and energy.
Intervention X Read the poem ‘Good Timber’ by Douglas Malloch on page 11 of the workbook.
What message is the poem trying to convey? What are the ‘strong winds’ doing for the tree that is positive? Can something good come out of difficult circumstances and trying times?
X Ask the students how many can draw. Proceed to draw a very basic tree on the board.
X Point out the quotation from Henry Ford – “If we believe we can, we are right, if we believe we can’t, we are also right.”
X Invite them to have a go – the tree does not have to be a work of art, but it must have the components we outlined above.
X Ask them to try and make
it as comprehensive as possible – point their attention to the tree of greatness picture in the workbook.
Reflection X When completed, students can be invited in pairs or small groups to unpack and walk the other students through their tree.
X How many of the trees look the exact same? X Invite them to revisit the exercise that evening and add to the buds or flowers or leaves.
X What can help turn buds into flowers? X Ask students to write down three things that they will take from today's exercise.
Relationship with life: As part of your mindfulness activities with the students try out the Mental Rehearsal activity as outlined on page 14. Ancillary activities in Workbook
X Read and reflect on the story about Steve Cunningham on page 15 of the
workbook. Follow-up question â&#x20AC;&#x201C; how has Steve used his strengths, gifts and determination to overcome the obstacles that he has faced in his life? What can you learn from his attitude?
"The path to true success is in your mind and not your ability or environment. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Steve Cunningham
Our Relationship with Life
3 INTRODUCING THE CONCEPT OF STRESS
We need small amounts of these hormones to function properly, however in large supply they damage our health and well-being. A high-stress event can cause a serious imbalance in the amount of cortisol and adrenaline in our bodies, whether that event is real or imagined, physical or psychological. So whether we have a fight with a friend, or are late for class, our body’s response is to release cortisol and adrenaline, thus the heart pounds, the muscles tighten,
the blood pressure rises, the breath quickens and the senses are more alert. As a result, remaining stressed for too long causes the body to become distressed. To manage stress: 1
Eat healthy, nutritious food.
Get plenty of sleep.
There is nothing good to say about chronic stress, therefore it is important that we develop methods of managing stress more effectively.
Learning Outcome: Students will develop an awareness of what stress is, how a certain amount is useful, but that distress is not becoming more aware of preventative strategies and coping mechanisms.
Evaluation What follows is an opportunity for students to reflect on the power of the brain to imagine. Invite students to reflect on the main causes of stress. Are there any benefits to stress? What are the downsides to stress? How have they coped with stress in the past? Perhaps start the session by using a clip of Basil Fawlty stressed (take your pick!).
Awareness Read page 16 of the workbook introducing the concept of stress. Ask students to record in the workbook in the space provided on page 17 what they consider the main causes of stress in a teenager's life – 6/8 windows, preferably in block capitals (give one, get one).
X A nice lead-in clip to this is Will Smith's (Fresh Prince) rap video (“Parents just don't understand”).
Stress is a feeling we get when struggling to cope with the pressures of life. Most scientists agree that some stress is good for us. We all need some stress to get out of bed in the morning. It helps motivate us to perform at our best, stimulating our body to produce the important hormones cortisol and adrenaline.
Intervention X After 5 minutes ask students to stand up, and give one of their answers to
another student, write one down that they had not considered and go on to the next student. Give, get, go.
X The object is to try and get to as many other students as possible until the sheet is full. X The teacher can then request students to retake their seats and ask each student for one stressor â&#x20AC;&#x201C; see if you can get right around the room â&#x20AC;&#x201C; writing them on the board.
Reflection X Invite the students to pick the top five in their opinion that are the main causes of teenage stress.
X For each one can they come up with coping strategies? Give 5 minutes' thinking time before asking students to pair and share.
X Write up some of the coping strategies that they have identified on the board. X Invite students to try one of the strategies in their own lives and write in their
workbooks about the experience. How effective was it on a scale of one to ten?
X Is there a difference between stress and distress? What can be the tipping point? X How can we recognise stress?
Our Relationship with Life
Fortunately we have warning lights on the car dashboard to give us a heads up. If we neglect to refuel, the consequences are self-evident. I use the same concept of the dashboard with students, sometimes we need to ‘check and connect’ with our body to make sure it’s good to go, that it’s equal to the mental and physical demands placed upon it. It has been said that trying to predict the future is like driving down a bumpy
country road at night in a car with no lights, looking out the rear window! In other words, hard to do with any degree of clarity and yet the mind will take us into the future which hasn't happened yet, or back to the past which invariably we cannot change. So in this exercise we focus on the present. When looking at an idea or concept a useful teaching strategy can be to use PMI. It works as follows. You look deliberately for all the plus points of an idea, the benefits and advantages from whatever point of view. When these are exhausted we purposefully look for the minus points, the downsides of the idea/concept. Finally the interesting points, neither good nor bad necessarily, starting off by 'What if' or 'I wonder…' This exercise can be timed and two minutes given for each section.
Learning Outcome: Students will develop an appreciation that mindfulness is simply an awareness of the present moment.
Evaluation Key question: What is mindfulness and how can it help build self-confidence, reduce anxiety and improve both performance and general well-being?
Awareness Introduce students to the concept of mindfulness, paying attention to the present moment. Read page 18 of the workbook. A clip could be used of a busy street, someone under pressure – refer to the mindfulness sheet in the workbook and read through it together.
When unpacking this exercise the "busyness" of life can be emphasised. Running from class to class, thinking of what happened earlier, what I'm having for lunch, what is happening later on. It can be pointed out just how little of our time can be spent in the present moment, in the here and now. We can be so busy driving the car that we don't realise we are nearly out of petrol!
Intervention X Have the students answer the question on page 18 in the box provided – what might the benefits of being more mindful be?
X Read page 19 of the workbook on ‘Barnacles’.
X Proceed to read page 20 for tips on how to practise mindfulness. X What might be some of the 'barnacles' or negative thinking that could erode your self-confidence and self-esteem?
X Point out the benefits to the practice on page 21 and suggested things to try on pages 22/23.
X Have students focus on trying a mindfulness
exercise. You can use the scripts provided, one of your own, a minute of silence, or an app like Smiling Mind or Headspace.
X Ask for feedback: — How did it feel? — Was it comfortable closing your eyes? — Did you find it strange/helpful/difficult? — Did you feel even more tired after the exercise? — If so, what might their bodies be telling them? — How long is it since they looked down at their ‘dashboard’ to make sure they had sufficient fuel on board? — Would this be a useful addition to a person's day or a waste of time?
Reflection X Ask students to do a PMI (plus, minus, interesting points) on the exercise. X Ask them to write down three things they learned today. Ask them to try out the
technique over the days ahead and record in their workbook how they got on with the exercise.
X Introduce students to the concept of imaginative practice. X Refer to the sheet in the workbook and read through it together. Explain the benefits from science and sport examples.
X Ask students to record in their workbook (in the journal section at the back) an
upcoming event that they want to go well. This could be a sporting event, asking someone out, a difficult conversation or an upcoming exam.
X Lead students in the first steps in imaginative practice â&#x20AC;&#x201C; with a focus on slow, calm breathing and muscle relaxation. Take time over this.
X Now invite the students to reflect on what they wrote down. Ask them to imagine it going well and remind them that they can run the scenario over in their minds until they get the result that they desire, the optimum outcome. Ask them what makes it go well.
X Ask the students to record in their workbooks what it was like for this event to go well.
X Read out the sheet on building confidence in the workbook. Focus on the idea of gradual, incremental steps.
X Request that students go back to their example and record the little things they will have to do in order to enable the event to succeed.
People who practise mindfulness regularly exhibit more activity in the left pre-frontal cortex, the area of the brain associated with happiness.
Our Relationship with Life
5 AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE: COUNTING OUR BLESSINGS Gratitude makes us happier. That’s what many spiritual traditions maintain. Now scientific research backs such claims. And that’s what we can easily observe in our own life and that of others. Taking five minutes to notice and savour what is going on positively in our lives is
a daily exercise that can make a real and lasting difference to our general wellbeing. This can be particularly helpful during downtimes or periods of trouble. The key to being happy is to pay more attention to the things that make you happy and less attention to what does not.
Learning Outcome: Students will develop an appreciation that an attitude of gratitude is not about having the best of everything, rather about making the most of everything.
Evaluation Question – why is being grateful conducive to well-being?
Awareness Start the class with five minutes of mindfulness, perhaps use an app like Smiling Mind or Headspace in conjunction with a speaker. Ask students to consider the small things that make a positive difference in their lives. Invite students to use their imagination to focus on some of those things. Ask students to record how they feel after considering what they are grateful for. Ask students what the potential benefits might be if our focus and attention was on doing this activity more regularly? Invite the students to read the ‘Count our blessings’ sheet in the workbook. Point out the benefits of regularly counting our blessings and point out they will be doing this in each lesson.
Intervention X Ask them to take the challenge to fill in 100 things that they are grateful for in
twenty minutes. Ask them to imagine that, if successful, they would win 1 million euro â&#x20AC;&#x201C; set the challenge and complete in the workbook.
Reflection X As an extension ask the students to bring into class a picture of a person they respect or admire and who they consider to have lived a successful life.
X Did they write anything down that they were grateful for that surprised them? X Did they take anything for granted? X Did they notice anything positive about doing the exercise? X Write down three things they learned from the exercise.
Our Relationship with Life
FINDING THE HAPPINESS (H) FACTOR Happiness may well be the ultimate currency, we all talk or dream about being happy. But what do we actually mean when we say "I just want to be happy"?
Finding out what makes us happy and practising being happy has many benefits for us:
Sometimes trying to define happiness can be as elusive as trying to achieve it. However the psychologist Shaun Achor defines happiness as “the joy we feel moving toward our potential.” Happiness and well-being are very closely linked as we tend to measure our sense of well-being against how happy we might be feeling. We learn more about our well-being by understanding our strengths and what it is that makes us happy, so that we can focus on these and work towards them.
happy people are less likely to get sick, and they live longer.
While perfect happiness or enlightenment might be hard to achieve and even harder to maintain, happiness lies on a spectrum of experiences.
X Happiness is good for our health:
X Happiness is good for our
relationships: happy people tend to have more friends. People like being around happy people, it's contagious.
X Happy people tend to be more
generous as they are not focused on having possessions.
X Happy people cope better with stress and trauma.
X Happy people are more creative and
are better able to see the big picture.
Learning Outcome: Students are more aware of what the ingredients of happiness are for them and become familiar with a wider definition of happiness.
Evaluation Question – why is well-being important and what are the barriers to it? What is the good life? What do we need to be happy? What are the ingredients?
akes you hap tm
Lesson LessonXX 6
Lesson LessonXX 6
OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH EMOTIONS
You cannot control your circumstances or life´s events, but you can control how you respond to them. Experience is what you get when you don´t get what you want. Brick walls are there to show you how much you want it, there to stop those who don`t want it
Relationship with Emotions
LEMOTIONS ESSON 9
LEMOTION E S S OMANAGEMENT N 10
LCHANNELLING E S S O N EMOTIONS 11
LFACING E S SFEAR ON 12
LIT EIS SOKAY S ONOT N TO1 FEEL 3 OKAY
LEMOTIONAL E S S O NINTELLIGENCE 1 4 (EQ)
LBELIEFS ESSON 15
LUNDERSTANDING E S S O N 1AND 6 CHANGING LIMITING BELIEFS
VALUING OURSELVES 42
Relationship with Emotions
INTRODUCTION TO MODULE
At its core the term emotional intelligence, popularised by Daniel Goleman, is about being aware of our feelings and those of others. It is about being smart with your emotions. Emotional intelligence involves the "abilities to perceive, appraise, and express emotions; to access and/ or generate feelings when they facilitate thought; to understand emotions and emotional knowledge; and to regulate emotions to promote emotional and intelligent growth." (Myers & Salovey) This section of lessons unpacks the concept and the role of emotion in our life, and its effect on both our personal and social competence. Looking at: Self-awareness – identifying our strengths and weaknesses. Self-regulation – managing our own emotional weather. Motivation – our levels of optimism, engagement and self-efficacy in terms of social competence Empathy – awareness of others' feelings, interests, needs and concerns. Trying to walk a mile in someone else's shoes. As the old joke goes, if nothing else you will be a mile away from them – and have their shoes!
Social Skills – communication and conflict management, cooperation and getting on with people. Somebody once said that the essence of leadership is 80% about cultivating great relationships – the other 20% is relationships also. The most important relationship the young person will have – or any person for that matter – is with themselves. For all levels of employment, Emotional Intelligence (EI) competencies have been found to be as much as twice as effective as IQ in determining an individual's success rate. Daniel Goleman describes EQ as "the capacity for recognising our own feelings and those of others, for improving ourselves and for managing our emotions well in ourselves and in our relationships." These lessons are about building or adding to that capacity. Promoting and cultivating this skill of self-awareness requires a certain focus and ability.
X To recognise appropriate body cues and emotions
X To accurately label cues and emotions
X To stay open to unpleasant as well as pleasurable emotions
X Includes the capacity to recognise
experience and regulate conflicting and multiple emotions
These lessons encourage students to look 'under the hood' of their behaviour at the emotional drivers underneath. To help them better understand their emotional weather:
X To recognise what events are likely to trigger different emotional outcomes
ositive emotions can be used as fuel to motivate ourselves. There are two ways of propelling a vehicle. You can put the right fuel inside and let the engine do what it's devised to do, or you can push it. Helping students develop a growing awareness of and ability to relate to their emotions and empathise with the emotions of others is crucial to their success and wellbeing. This module encourages the development of a vernacular around emotions and their power and influence over the decision-making process.
X To know that emotions can combine
to trigger complex blends of feelings
X To realise that emotions can
progress over time and transition from one to another
X Provides a rich emotional vocabulary for describing feelings.
For some it will come as a surprise that their pre frontal cortex, the rational part of their brain, will not be fully developed until their early twenties. That when we ask them to act their age, they probably are. What we are asking them to do is to act our age, which is altogether harder for them. It may come as a surprise just how
strong a role the emotions play in their decision-making process. So promoting their self-awareness is a central objective of this module. Painful emotions can come in many guises, fear, anger, guilt and shame. Such emotions if not channelled constructively can drain us of our energy, disempower or cause us to disengage or retreat. However, painful experiences and emotions can also be used as fuel. We can learn from people who managed to turn painful experiences into triumphs such as Steve Jobs and Dr. Ben Carson. The ability to channel these emotions down a constructive pathway is a valuable life skill.
What really matters for success, character, happiness and lifelong achievements is a definite set of emotional skills â&#x20AC;&#x201C; your EQ â&#x20AC;&#x201D; not just purely cognitive abilities that are measured by conventional IQ tests. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Daniel Goleman
Relationship with Emotions
Emotions make us move away from things that are harmful and they draw us towards things that are perceived as of benefit. Fear causes us to run away from a real or imagined threat, stay and fight it or freeze. On the other hand,
the emotion of joy draws us near to something: e.g a smiling child. Emotions colour people’s lives and give them depth and differentiation. For many people, strong emotions are linked to creativity and expression e.g great art, music, and literature. Emotions also help people monitor their social behaviour and regulate their interactions with others. Every person unconsciously learns to “read” the outward expressions of other people and apply past experience to determine what these outward signs indicate about what the other person is feeling.
Learning Outcome: Students understand the purpose and function of emotions and what influence they have over our thinking and subsequent actions.
Evaluation The key question is what are our emotions and how do they affect us in our dayto-day experiences.
Awareness Start the class with five minutes of mindfulness. Students write down something that has happened to them since the last session that they are grateful for. Ask the students to recall the last 24 hours and to write down what emotions they experienced. What was the cause of these emotions? Did they recognise any physical response in their bodies? E.g. tense, sweating, slow heartbeat, fast breathing?
Emotions, often called feelings, include experiences such as fear, surprise, sadness, disgust, anger and happiness. Emotions are related to, but different from, mood. Emotions are specific reactions to a particular event that are usually of fairly short duration. Mood is a more general feeling such as happiness, sadness, frustration, contentment, or anxiety that last for a longer time.
Intervention X Get students to read the resource on emotions in the workbook on pages 46/47. What emotions are hardest to regulate and manage from the six basic emotions mentioned? For what reason?
X Ask students if they were trying to explain the three parts of the brain and their function to a friend what would they say?
X Ask students to write down three takeaways from this section's information.
Check for understanding by asking each student to read out a takeaway. This can be a key piece of information, an observation or even a question. The challenge is to go as far around the room as you can, with a different takeaway each time.
(the thinking brain) – this controls all the thinking, such as how to solve a problem.
The limbic system
(the emotional brain) – this is the control centre for basic emotions. It holds your emotional memories.
The reptilian brain
(the survival brain) – this controls most of the things we don’t notice and do automatically, like breathing.
Reflection X Ask students if we have no choice but to be slaves to our emotions or can we
learn to manage our emotional weather. Can someone else make me feel bad … or do I have to give them permission first?
X Get them to reflect on their own triggers and emotional hot buttons and write them down. What makes them feel angry, happy, disgusted, surprised, fearful, or sad? What if you experienced no emotions at all – would that be a good or bad thing?
When a tree falls it makes a lot of noise, when a forest grows, no one hears it. – Chinese proverb 46
Relationship with Emotions
10 EMOTION MANAGEMENT rich sources of learning if only we confront the things that hurt and scare us and find ways to channel them constructively. Not unlike Nick Vujicic, who used troubling and painful personal circumstances as fuel to build a positive future full of freedom, self-respect and opportunity.
Learning Outcome: Students become aware of techniques to channel the powerful currents of emotions towards a productive rather than a destructive end.
Evaluation The question is how can we harness the power of emotions, particularly painful ones, for productive outcomes? In the workbook we call it emotional judo â&#x20AC;&#x201C; turning what might be negative destructive energy into something positive, empowering and enabling.
Awareness Start the class with five minutes of mindfulness. Students write down something that has happened to them since the last session that they are grateful for.
Painful emotions can overwhelm us if not channelled appropriately. They can take away our power and demotivate us. However, they can also be used as a fuel to get to a better place. They can be a punishment for not making progress, or they can act as a warning light that can provide
Intervention X Ask the students to recall an instance where they last got very angry. X Ask the students to recall the experience in the journal section of the workbook located at the back.
X Follow up by asking students what is positive about having emotions? (they can motivate, give energy, act as an early warning system for trouble etc.)
X Pick a volunteer or two and give them an emotion to feel and to try and express
the emotion with their body. Can the students guess what is being communicated through body language alone?
X How does it feel for the volunteer holding that body position? X Ask students to guess another emotion being demonstrated. Point out that our emotions 'leak' into our physiology and can be read by others.
X Read and reflect on pages 48/49 of the workbook. How did Mother Teresa use,
rather than be used by, the emotion of anger? What was the secret to doing that? Ask students what is the difference between reacting to something instinctively and responding to someone or something. What is the difference? Explain that we are using a different part of the brain when we react (the limbic system), whilst we use the pre frontal cortex (the thinking, rational part of the brain) when we respond. Can students think of examples from their own experience or that of others of both? How did they work out? (e.g. Zidane's headbut) De Valera's response to Churchill after World War II or other examples you can think of.
X Ask students for feedback on how to 'snap out of' such a powerful emotional state. (B.E.T. - Breathe Exit Think)
X Point out that the word emotion contains the word motion. Emotions can propel us to act positively or to fight, flight, freeze or appease.
X How can the emotion they experienced be used positively? Point out that Steve
Jobs used the anger and sadness of being kicked out of Apple, a company that he founded, to create Pixar, the world's biggest animation company, and eventually retake control of apple â&#x20AC;&#x201C; now the world's richest company.
X What are these emotions trying to get us to do? X What are the pros of each course of action â&#x20AC;&#x201C; fighting/fleeing/freezing/appeasing? What ways of managing emotions do you already employ? Is there a strategy listed here that you could try?
Reflection X Ask students to reflect on the next time they feel an emotion strongly. How do they experience it? Where in the body do they experience it?
X What did they learn from the experience that was positive? X Many people in the past used their anger and righteous indignation about
poverty as fuel to make a difference for good. How can students harness their emotions for the better?
Ask students when they have completed question two to draw the emoji (if you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know what that is ask your teenage son or daughter ... or any teenager near!) that best fits what she is feeling now. Identify the six key emotions and write them in the circles beside the people on page 51. Complete takeaway section.
Read the Biscuits Story on page 50 of the workbook and invite students to answer the questions.
Relationship with Emotions
11 CHANNELING EMOTIONS
Emotions are very powerful and play quite a large role in our decision-making process. The part of our brain which controls our emotions is actually six times more powerful than the thinking rational part of the brain and gets messages first. Therefore we need to learn not so much to control our emotions, rather to manage them effectively. It is important to know how to use the six basic human emotions, to achieve your own success! Rather than letting these feelings control you, or hold you back, you can choose to turn them to
your advantage. Trying to deny them, or push them aside, can be a losing struggle. Instead, you should recognise that these are powerful forces, which you can use to further your dreams. When taken in this way, emotions can be your secret weapon for realising the success which youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve always imagined. Learning to manage or channel our emotions is about harnessing their energy, redirecting it to bring about positive consequences rather than surrendering to them and acting foolishly.
Learning Outcome: Students develop an awareness of the importance of managing their emotions effectively.
Evaluation When faced with situations that make us angry, we can handle them by choosing a bad way, a good way, or a best way. What are positive ways to channel anger? Can how we respond to anger have an impact on those around us?
Awareness Start the class with five minutes of mindfulness. Students write down something that has happened to them since the last session that they are grateful for. Ask the students to consider how they respond to situations which may anger them.
Intervention X Equipment - A stack of 3x5 cards or small pieces of paper. Ask students to
create three piles in front of them. They should write “poor” on the top card in one pile, “pretty good” on the next one, and "positive” on the third.
X Create a few scenarios that would make the students in your class angry based
on what you know about them. For example you are the victim of banter, or name calling. Someone has spread a rumour about you. Somebody has jumped the lunch queue or your mates are ignoring you. Read these to the class one at a time. After a scenario is read, each person must think of a response in that situation that would fit on the "poor" response pile, a better way on the “pretty good” pile, and a best way on the “positive” card. Have the students place their responses on their respective papers. Do this for several scenarios. After all the scenarios have been read, take the “poor” papers and read all the responses. Discuss the consequences of handling anger in this manner.
X Feedback - What are the possible negative consequences of responding in
that manner? Do this next for the “pretty good” papers and conclude with the “positive” papers.
X Invite students to read page 52 of the
workbook. What is meant by the inner chimp and why are they hard to control?
X Read the Fishing story on page 53 and complete the questions to the side.
Reflection X What did you learn from these exercises? X Remind students that we are not always responsible for what happens to us, but
we are always responsible for how we choose to respond. We are response-able. We can choose to act, not react. When we are ‘out of the boat’ we are reacting and not responding and may need to resume control.
X Do you tend to express anger in a positive or negative way? Why? X How can you change the way you respond in pressure situations? X How can handling anger in a bad way affect those around us? Which way leads to the most productive outcomes, the most opportunity, while preserving our self-respect?
Relationship with Emotions
12 FACING FEAR
Anxiety can manifest itself in many guises. From feelings of blind panic at the thoughts of speaking in public to a vague trepidation about what the coming day might have in store, they say that the brain starts working the second we are born â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and stops the second we get up to speak in public! Simon Cowell and Robbie Williams both famously suffer from stage fright. This is difficult to reconcile with the confident self-assuredness both exude when performing on their respective stages. These lessons normalise feelings of anxiousness and the idea of having butterflies about an upcoming important event. The secret is trying to get them to march in line. Breathing: In stressful situations we tend to shorten or hold our breath, thus inhibiting the rate of oxygen entering
the bloodstream and affecting what state our brain is in, whether it is calm and relaxed or tense. A focus on our breathing, a deliberate attempt to slow its rate, can positively help to soothe run-of-the-mill anxieties and worries that percolate to the surface day day to day. To complement this, we can use progressive muscle relaxation, where we take each muscle group in turn, tensing for tensing for three seconds and then releasing. We can then progress from face to body, arms, legs etc. Feel the fear and do it anyway Fear (False Expectations Appearing Real) can paralyse us. Interest paid on things that have not happened yet, or experience would indicate don't happen at all. Allowing these fears to live rent free in our heads can take up valuable space and energy that could be devoted to more positive things.
Learning Outcome: Students explore ways of facing and coping with their fears.
Evaluation What are our greatest fears and what can we do about it? Useful clips to show here are challenges from 'Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m a celebrity get me out of here'. The clip featuring Paul Burrell shows clearly the paralysing effects of fear.
Awareness Start the class with five minutes of mindfulness. Students write down something that has happened to them since the last session that they are grateful for. Ask the students to think of common fears that people may have. Point out that many fears that people have never come to pass. Can they think of any examples from their own life? Invite students to read page 54 of the workbook.
Intervention X Ask the students to fill in what they consider to be the six major fears that most people have on page 55 of the workbook.
X Then ask students to give one, get one and go to another student, to try and collect as many as they can and write in the boxes provided.
X Ask students for feedback. See if you can go around the room, each person calling out a different fear.
X You can point out that Roy Keane has said that he used fear of failure to fuel his success and propel him forward (A positive channeling of the emotion).
Fears of a Young Person
Reflection X What had the fears got in common? X Did any fears come up that were surprising? X What can we do to face up to â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;talk downâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; our fears? Can fear be channelled to positive use? If so, how? When does fear become negative and unhelpful?
X Put the word 'anxious' on the board and ask what it might mean. X What are the kinds of things that teenagers get anxious about? Did we capture all
of them under fears?
X What does feeling anxious feel like in the body? What are the characteristics, both mental and physiological?
X Point out that feelings of anxiety can be diminished or conquered by
acknowledging the feeling, and with the help and support of family, friends, and professional groups.
X Mention that some of the most common fears are 1
Speaking before a group
Insects and bugs
X How many had they managed to mention?
Relationship with Emotions
13 IT IS OK NOT TO FEEL OK
X Feelings of isolation X Loss of appetite X A sense of hopelessness X Difficulty in sleeping – disrupted sleep cycle
X Feelings of inferiority and low selfworth / self-esteem
X A sense of powerlessness and loss of control and autonomy
X A sense of apathy or not caring about anything or anybody
X A sense of detachment, with little or no interest in things that once inspired
The good news amidst the despair is that if we practise a range of strategies and interventions we have every chance of staging a positive recovery. The following activities have been found to diminish the likelihood of suffering from the grip of depression:
X The proven ability of exercise to bust
depression, breaking sweat for at least twenty minutes three times a week
X Lots of sunlight and vitamin D
X Being around our friends and various support networks.
We thrive in the company of others, being highly social by design. Being isolated and detached from others, with a poor network of friends, can lead to feelings of loneliness, where the mental spotlight turns inwards, leading to unhelpful thinking patterns. What has worked in the past – reconnecting to our passions – and what gives us energy and joy? How can we renew a sense of the positive experiences and activities that we derived pleasure and reward from? The world of positive psychology speaks to the power of optimism. That the key to happiness and well-being is to pay more attention to what makes you happy and to pay less attention to what does not. Abraham Lincoln was purported to have said that we were about as happy as we made our minds up to be. Learning to become more optimistic will enhance healthy relationships and well-being on all fronts. We need to get good at damping down inner critical self-talk and the outer criticism of people the actor and politician Arnold Swarzenegger calls the ‘naysayers’. The cynicism of others – people who, he says, have given up but not shut up. They have retired – but neglected to tell their employers! Morale hoovers who sap us of our energy and, worse, our hopes and dreams. Staying away from toxic thoughts from inside our heads or outside influences will help our happiness capacity. Einstein said we can live every day like it’s a miracle – or like nothing is a miracle. The good news is that the choice is ours to make. We can choose what we focus on. Reason being that what we focus on tends to magnify. If we get up out of bed convinced that everything and
Additional Information: There is a strong chance that we all know someone in our immediate or extended circle of family or friends who suffers from depression, or a protracted period of feeling down. For the purposes of this lesson, the working definition we will use for depression is when for several consecutive weeks life seems to be getting us down and we are no longer deriving pleasure from activities we once enjoyed. Some of the red flags for depression can be as follows:
Relationship with Personality, Talent and Performance
36 PRESSURE SOLUTION STRATEGIES As you know there is a link between our thoughts, feelings and what the body does. How we react to pressure or stress can depend on how much we feel that we have control over what is happening. All we have control
over however is how we tackle the situation. This lesson is about how we help ourselves to reduce feelings of pressure by learning how to focus on what we are able to control, which is our response sing to the situation.
Learning Outcome: Students develop tools and techniques to cope more effectively with pressure.
Evaluation How can we cope best with pressure? There is a scene in the film Mike Bassett: England Manager where he is trying to motivate his players at half-time – with disastrous results. Zidane’s head butt in the 2006 World Cup final is another unfortunate example of failing to cope with pressure. How do we best use our talents to perform best under pressure? Can we use any performance and pressure solutions to our benefit?
Awareness Begin the session with five minutes of mindfulness and ask students to write down three things they are grateful for since the last session.
Recovery is an important word and a vital concept. It means renewal of life and energy. Knowing how and when to recover may prove to be the most important skill in your life. – James E. Loehr
Intervention X Ask students to write down five things that will cause them significant pressure
in the weeks and months ahead. Ask them to think specifically how these might impact on friendships.
X Feed these back to the group, teasing out physical symptoms of stress also, e.g. blood pressure, panic attacks, anxiousness etc.
X Point out that pressure is a constant feature of life – what separates the stressed
from the distressed is how they cope with that pressure and perform in spite of it.
X Invite students to name people who perform well under pressure. Can they
discern any cooling mechanisms being used? Try to gather some of these tips together.
X Ask students to recall times when they persevered and detail the experience in their journal at the back of the workbook.
X Read the opening piece on page 152 of the workbook. Can they all see the word fly?
them to look between the shapes at the white. Can they discern the word FLY? Some will immediately; some will react impatiently to others not seeing it clearly. Others will feel frustrated that they cannot see what others can. This can be a very powerful metaphor for learning. Wait until you hear a few ‘aha’ moments ... the beautiful sound of a penny dropping. Once seen it cannot be unseen. All it took was a slight shift of orientation. Ask students to act from a different paradigm, to choose to see pressure differently, as a challenge, as something that can bring them – as opposed to draining them of – energy. Show them that the tools to help them FLY internally and externally are hidden in plain sight, waiting to be uncovered.
X Have students look at the four red shapes – direct their attention to it. Then ask
X Ask students to feedback areas of their lives where they have made mistakes, fallen down in school, in relationships, with friends, on the sports field, with family etc.
X During the feedback make the link that mistakes are a very common learning experience – they are VILE (Very Interesting Learning Experiences).
X What other solutions and coping techniques to deal with pressure might be right in front of them that just need to be brought to awareness? Is this a possibility?
X Read about the pressure solution strategies on page 152 of the workbook â&#x20AC;&#x201C; can
the students add to them? Ask students to fill in the glasses on page 155 of the workbook. Which is the most important glass? Can they name anything that could add to their amount in each glass? Forgiveness
X Complete reading the strategies on page 146 of the workbook and proceed to
the test on page 157. Raise the stakes and set the scene before they attempt by saying they have a very short amount of time in which to finish. Put them under pressure to see how they respond. When they finish the exercise (and hopefully it generated laughter upon its end) debrief it. What do they learn? (To measure twice and cut once)
X Have students read and complete the exercise on the bottom of page 158. What
do they take away from this? Were they surprised? What lesson can they apply to their learning?
Reflection X In the light of what they have read on pages 152-155 of the workbook what do
they think is the secret of performing at your best? What solutions can they add to their pressure-coping toolkit?
X It is important to remind ourselves that we can only do the best we can. To give ourselves permission to be human, and that sometimes, getting things done is better than perfect.
Ancillary activity: Perfectionism Perfectionism tends to be a pretend friend, on the one hand wanting us to do things right, on the other feeding the inner critic who feels that whatever we do, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s never good enough. Invite students to read about perfectionism on page 159 of the workbook, and invite them to do the exercise on page 160 and read the tip for fighting perfectionism. Finally, complete the exercises on page 161 of the workbook.
Relationship with Personality, Talent and Performance
37 BENEFITS OF FAILURE The fear of failure stops too many minds from creating something meaningful in the world, stops us from living extraordinary lives. This lesson looks at redefining our concept and understanding of failure from something negative to something completely different. If we consider this life as a journey with purpose and meaning then parts of the journey will have their
difficulties, whilst other parts will bear much fruit and be rewarding. So no failure or difficulty stands out as being definitive of the entire journey. Rather the journey to accomplishment in our lives is filled with trial and error, where we learnt from our errors to accomplish even more the next time we face a similar trial. This makes the journey worthwhile.
Learning Outcome: Students understand that failure is not fatal and that they may well learn more from their mistakes than their accomplishments.
Have we ever failed at anything? How has that made us feel? How did we respond to those feelings?
Sometimes we learn more from our mistakes and failures than we do from our accomplishments and successes. Steve Jobs in a famous commencement speech at Stanford said that he was a very public failure after managing to get kicked out of his own company. However, looking back, that failure led to even greater success. Begin the session with five minutes of mindfulness and ask students to write down three things they are grateful for since the last session.
Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralising. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Harriet Braiker
GLOSSARY OF TERMS
Simple Definitions An Affirmation is a positive statement about yourself which you repeat to yourself for as long as it takes for you to think, believe and act in that way. Appreciation is the recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something; a full understanding of a situation. A Belief is a feeling of certainty that something exists, is true, or is good e.g. religious, political or self-beliefs. A limiting belief is a feeling of certainty about something which holds you back or restricts you from taking action in favour of yourself. Character is the mental, moral and behavioural qualities distinctive to an individual. The Conscious mind is the part of your mind that is responsible for logic and reasoning. The conscious mind also controls all the actions that you do intentionally while being conscious. For example, when you decide to make any voluntary action like moving your hand or leg it is done by the conscious mind.
Depression is a mental state in which you are sad and feel that you cannot enjoy anything, because your situation is so difficult and unpleasant. Efficacy is the ability to produce a desired or intended result. Self-efficacy is one's belief in one's ability to succeed in specific situations or accomplish a task. One's sense of self-efficacy can play a major role in how one approaches goals, tasks, and challenges. Ego is the part of you that defines you; part of your conscious mind, the part of your identify that you consider your ‘self’. The ego most immediately controls thought and behaviour and mediates between the person and external reality.
Emotional resilience simply refers to one's ability to adapt to stressful situations or crises. More resilient people are able to “roll with the punches” and adapt to adversity without lasting difficulties, while less resilient people have a harder time with stress and life changes. Empathy is the ability to share another person's feelings and emotions as if they were your own. Empower means to give someone the means to achieve something, for example to become stronger or more successful. Feeling(s) is a way of thinking and reacting to things which is emotional and unplanned rather than logical and practical. Your feelings about something are the things that you think and feel about it, or your attitude towards it. Mental Health is a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community. Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you're mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience. Mindset is a particular way of thinking: a person's attitude or set of opinions about something. Mindset is a simple idea discovered by world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck. In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They also believe that talent alone creates success - without effort.
In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work - brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. Personality is made up of the characteristic patterns of thoughts, feelings and behaviours that make a person unique. In addition to this, personality arises from within the individual and remains fairly consistent throughout life. Relationship is the way in which things or people are connected and/ or feel and behave towards each other.
overall sense of self-worth or personal value. Self-esteem is often seen as a personality trait, which means that it tends to be stable and enduring. Selfesteem can involve a variety of beliefs about the self, such as the appraisal of one's own appearance, beliefs, emotions, and behaviours. Subconscious Mind The subconscious mind is the part of your mind responsible for all of your involuntary actions. Your breathing rate and heart beat are controlled by your subconscious mind. Your emotions are controlled by your subconscious mind and it is also the place where your beliefs and memories are stored.
Self-esteem describes a person's
You cannot learn to skate without being ridiculous ... The ice of life is slippery. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; G.B. Shaw
FILM RESOURCES Attitude
Honda ad - It shows that with the right attitude, commitment, determination and persistence, even the most impossible of things can be done.
Pay it Forward. What does the world mean to you http://tinyurl.com/myajdrq
Trailer Pay it Forward.
Michael Jordan on Failure. Success is built upon failure. Failure is how we gain experience. Failure is how we learn and grow. And it is by learning and growing, that we are eventually able to succeed.
Beliefs http://tinyurl.com/3br3er7 1.29 BBC for Aprils fools’ day. While the video is a hoax, it invites us to rethink about our beliefs, and whether they are really as true as we think they are.
http://tinyurl.com/zmhc2ex 2.34 Kaká (Ricardo) - Kaka went on to achieve all the 10 goals he wrote, and even more.
Gratitude http://tinyurl.com/j4f2k4l 5.19 An attitude of gratitude. http://tinyurl.com/jbdvush 3.21
"Thank You" for your existence.
The Bucket List – Have you found joy in your life?
Changing Limiting Beliefs http://tinyurl.com/zbfl2zx 3.34 The peaceful warrior. Life-changing moment about understanding vulnerability and that life is a choice
Emotions http://tinyurl.com/plfh2po 9.25 Inside Out: Examining our various emotions and how they are connected to our memories in our subconscious.
Pharrell Williams 4.06 http://tinyurl.com/p7j643k 4.06 Pharrell Williams (Minions version) http://tinyurl.com/gp6c5h4 13.18 The Peaceful Warrior; Are you happy? people are afraid of what’s inside.
Journeying http://tinyurl.com/jzmj78o 3.44 The Peaceful Warrior; it's the journey that brings us happiness, not the destination.
Opportunity http://tinyurl.com/z2afedd 4.14 The Happiness Advantage: Linking Positive Brains to Performance by Shawn Achor. http://tinyurl.com/n3mwb52
http://tinyurl.com/jbswvry 3.55 Good Will Hunting; What do you want to do with your life?
Living with Purpose http://tinyurl.com/oq2aedd 3.05
2.38 What is the Happiness Advantage? by Shawn Achor.
Resilience http://tinyurl.com/khu79kr 10.43 The Most Beautiful Thing.
Dead Poetâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s society Carpe Diem scene.
Mindfulness Music and Meditations
Stress http://tinyurl.com/nvrhftz 4.43
http://tinyurl.com/ogezxr6 6.01.00 http://tinyurl.com/j3l3ma7 3.00.00 http://tinyurl.com/hmd9zcq 1.00.00 http://tinyurl.com/oasx8hf 45.00
Will Smith Parentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Just Don't Understand. http://tinyurl.com/jhaygz4 6 mins (play from 1.10 mins in) Noisy Streets.
Time http://tinyurl.com/zz8zddt Finding the golden ticket in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
1.13 Robbie Williams signing new contract.
Steve Cunningham interview.
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